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Letters: Early Diagnosis

Hostetler, David L.

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000399227.00479.e8

El Cajon, CA

I just finished reading “An Ounce of Early Intervention,” by Debra Gordon, in the April/May 2011 issue, and I couldn't agree more with her. As a matter of fact, I am walking proof that early intervention is important.

At 37 years old, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). My doctor immediately said, “I want you to start on a therapy.” I was to deploy on a U.S. Navy ship five days later and felt I had to take action. My doctor explained the positives and negatives of the three approved therapies at the time. I made my choice and started therapy that day. I remember asking him, “How long am I going to have to be on this therapy?” He responded, “The rest of your life.” I said, “That's a long time.” He answered, “Let's hope so.”

I took seven months' worth of medication with me on my ship and maintained my therapy as best as I could while deployed. I continued therapy, and in 2007 I finished a 21-year naval career—the last six with MS. In November I will have been living with MS for 10 years. Debra Gordon is right: Take control of MS before it takes control of you.

David L. Hostetler

El Cajon, CA

©2011 American Academy of Neurology